Police Clash with Wadas Villagers Opposing Major Dam Construction

8 February 2022 22:56 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The number of arrests against villagers of Wadas, Central Java Province, has allegedly grown by 25 as of Tuesday afternoon as the locals continue to oppose the government’s attempt to enter the village by mobilizing hundreds of police officers. Wadas, according to the local government plan, will be turned into an andesite mining site, which is part of the main dam construction named Bendungan Bener in Purworejo. 

This was confirmed by the Wadas villagers’ legal team member from the LBH Yogyakarta, Julian Duwi Prasetyo, in a text message to Tempo on February 8. “There were roughly 25 people taken to the Purworejo police headquarters, in the list of people taken by the police including members of the LBH Yogyakarta.”

Julian continues to register the number of villagers arrested by law enforcement officers. He said that today, thousands of police remain at the village to guard the land measurement process done by the National Land Agency (BPN).

“Our legal team was not permitted to enter Wadas without a legal document,” he said.

The Wadas resistance movement against the construction of a mining site within their village area on Tuesday shared multiple videos recorded with mobile phones on Tuesday morning. These videos have spread across social media platforms, which show hundreds of police officers surrounding the village. The villagers stay together at a local mosque. 

The situation regarding communication inside Wadas is bleak as it seems to have been cut. Tempo attempted to contact a number of local residents but was unable to as their telephones were not active. 

When asked about the alleged arrests made against villagers defending their area, the Central Java Police spokesperson commissioner Iqbal Alqudusy said the villagers in question had previously taken pictures of the Central Java Police HQ with their mobile phones and alleged that it was done with bad intentions. 

“We suspect the pictures would then be uploaded to online accounts that are against the construction of the dam with negative narratives,” he defended.

Wadas villagers have fought against the development of the mining site and dam project since four years ago. Andesite is planned to be extracted from the 114-hectare area and will be used as the main component in the construction of the dam, Bendungan Bener, which is considered a national strategic project. 

Tempo in early January met with Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo to clarify the situation at Wadas. He explained that the project will see land acquisitions on 579 plots of land there. About 160 people owning 236 plots of the land refused to let the government acquire it, while 343 locals who own land plots in Wadas agreed to sell it for the construction project. 

“We must listen to all parties, not just one or two,” said the governor. 

Read: Ganjar Pranowo Pitches Dieng Geothermal Project as a Tourism Site

FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA | JAMAL A. NASHR



Central Java's Mount Merapi Spews Pyroclastic Cloud, Showered by Intense Raining

10 hari lalu

Central Java's Mount Merapi Spews Pyroclastic Cloud, Showered by Intense Raining

The volcano in Central Java, Mount Merapi, has again spewed pyroclastic clouds in the past week from November 11 to 17, 2022.


Indonesia Covid-19 Infection Showing Increase

11 hari lalu

Indonesia Covid-19 Infection Showing Increase

As of Thursday, November 17, 2022, the Indonesian Ministry of Health reported that more than 7,000 people have been infected with Covid-19.


Gerindra 'Unbothered' by Survey Where Ganjar Pranowo Excels Prabowo Subianto

33 hari lalu

Gerindra 'Unbothered' by Survey Where Ganjar Pranowo Excels Prabowo Subianto

Gerindra Party is unbothered by the political survey that ranks Ganjar Pranowo above its chairperson Prabowo Subianto.


Ganjar Pranowo Declares Readiness to Run for President

42 hari lalu

Ganjar Pranowo Declares Readiness to Run for President

Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo has spoken up about his stance in the 2024 presidential election.


Indonesian Umbrella Festival Sees 81 Communities Gather in Central Java

2 September 2022

Indonesian Umbrella Festival Sees 81 Communities Gather in Central Java

Solo City in Central Java is set to host the Indonesian Umbrella Festival or Fespin from September 2-4 which will involve 81 art groups.


Jokowi Believed to Be Maintaining Political Influence Following Recent Events

30 Agustus 2022

Jokowi Believed to Be Maintaining Political Influence Following Recent Events

Indonesia Political Review executive believes President Jokowi is attempting to keep power close to his circle ahead of 2024 political year.


PAN Announces 9 Names for 2024 Presidential Candidates

27 Agustus 2022

PAN Announces 9 Names for 2024 Presidential Candidates

Chairman of the National Mandate Party (PAN) Zulkifli Hasan announced the presidential candidates the party will endorse for the 2024 general election


Jokowi Hints Support for Prabowo, Ganjar Pranowo in 2024 Election

12 Agustus 2022

Jokowi Hints Support for Prabowo, Ganjar Pranowo in 2024 Election

President Jokowi did not deny that he had given his blessing to two renowned politicians, Ganjar Pranowo and Prabowo Subianto.


Suspected Case of Monkeypox in Central Java Confirmed Negative

8 Agustus 2022

Suspected Case of Monkeypox in Central Java Confirmed Negative

Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo confirmed that the PCR test of a resident who was suspected of being exposed to monkeypox turned out negative.


Suspected Case of Monkeypox Found in Central Java's Pati

4 Agustus 2022

Suspected Case of Monkeypox Found in Central Java's Pati

A resident in Pati Regency, Central Java, is suspected of being infected with monkeypox and is now undergoing isolation at a local hospital.